A re-election vote for commissioner Rob Manfred is scheduled for next week and he’s expected to have sufficient support for another term, people close to the process who were not authorized to speak publicly told The Athletic.
“No doubt, there never was,” said one person briefed on the vote when asked if Manfred will be re-elected. “It’s a foregone conclusion.”
Manfred needs a majority of the 30 owners to vote in his favor. He told The Athletic last week that he indeed planned to seek re-election, but it wasn’t publicly known at that time when that election would occur. His prior re-election, in 2018, came later on the calendar, in November.
“I have what I regard to be the best job in the world,” Manfred said last week. “My current thinking is I’d like to continue to do it.”
The vote next week comes right at the start of a window of 18 months before the expiration of the commissioner’s term where a majority vote of lead owners is sufficient to bring a commissioner back, compared to the three-quarters vote required for an extension at other times (or for the election of a new commissioner). That window runs until nine months remain on a commissioner’s contract.
Next week’s vote is expected to take place in Washington D.C., where Manfred and owners who are designated club “control” people have a meeting scheduled.
Manfred’s current contract runs to January 25, 2025. The earliest day that he could be re-elected on a majority vote, then, would appear to be Tuesday, which is July 25. It wasn’t immediately known which day Manfred’s vote is slated for.
Manfred’s first two terms as commissioner were for five years. If his third term is also for five years, he would be in line to lead the sport until January 25, 2030.
“In terms of process, I think the constitution’s pretty clear as to timing: that 18-month window’s a big deal,” Manfred said last week.
Manfred, who turns 65 in September, was first elected commissioner in 2014, and took office in place of Bud Selig the following January. For as divisive as he has been for many fans and players — and even at times, some owners — he has overseen a continuous climb in revenues, pandemic seasons aside. The league drew an estimated $10.8 billion in 2022, compared to $9.5 billion in 2015, Manfred’s first season.
Manfred’s compensation, including bonuses, reportedly exceeds $25 million annually.
(Photo of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred: LM Otero / Associated Press)